A new report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Baby Loss finds that staffing shortages are having significant impacts across services provided before and during birth and the neonatal period including bereavement care.

The report, which quotes the NCMD findings three times, finds a “bleak picture” for maternity and neonatal services that “are understaffed, overstretched and letting down women, families and maternity staff, alike”.

The APPG then makes a comprehensive series of recommendations to address the issue. In particular, three measures they put forward for urgent implementation: creating a multi-year, fully funded settlement for maternity and neonatal services; ringfencing of a proportion of that settlement for the training and development of maternity and neonatal staff; and establishing nationally agreed minimum staffing levels for maternity and neonatal staff.

Working closely with NCMD charity partner Sands UK, the NCMD’s role was to contribute insights put forward by the child death review professionals that we work with, and particularly child death overview panels (CDOPs). Our CDOPs recorded inadequate staffing or bed capacity issues in over 40 child deaths during the period between 1st April 2019 and 31st March 2021.

Read the full report here.